tv Morning Joe MSNBC November 29, 2017 3:00am-6:00am PST
barnical. >> hardy. >> that was a good one, thank you very much. great. we appreciate it. also national affairs analyst for nbc news and msnbc john heilemann. p. >> the legendary. >> also associated press, julie pace. and mika will be back tomorrow and also the great willie geist is with us. >> good morning, everybody. what's going on? >> what's going on with you? >> i'm mad about eli manning. >> that's outrageous, by the way. >> sorry. we'll talk about it later. >> what do you mean? >> the new york giants benched eli manning. he has been starting since 2004. because their team stinks this year 2 and 9, the head coach decided that eli manning is the problem. and he was benched in favor of geno smith. >> he has only won two super bowls. >> he handled it with class, but there is a sound byte where he
is fighting back tears. >> eli manning is a model citizen both within the national football leak, win has its own issues with players on and off the field as well as a model citizen in life, itself. you can walk u talk to wes moore or any number of people that run charities in this city and around the country. she a model citizen, to be treated like this, the family ought to be embarrassed. >> unbelievable. willie, we you'll have our talents. >> sure. >> mike, legendary journalist, right. heilemann, sort of, you know, an experiment can chemistry sets by night u night. you, of course, you know what masters i won? >> it was with 87. >> jack won in '86. people always forget i won the '87 masters. by the way. >> i haven't seen you in the
green jacket in a while. >> by the way, if are you a at the washington post. >> uh-oh. >> you hear me saying i wasn't the 1987 masters, it's a joke we have been doing for a decade. just like the day after thanksgiving. where we go, oh, i'm stuffed. willie, what about that game and willie goes, oh,yeah, that game. can you believe that ending? wh whew! >> say it slowly so they get it. >> mouth breathers, that is a joke. it's sort of our schtick. you may not like that. so maybe go over to fox and friends if you like their schtick better. that's just what we do. so we didn't actually win the '87 jacket. i can't believe i have to expla therein to them. can you believe that? can you believe the source for that story. they never call msnbc that we were trying to pull something.
you see who their source was for that, mike, an unnamed viewer who wished to fought be identifi identified. democracy may die in darkness, but your sourcing just suction on that story. >> well, i tried to tell you the other day. >> oh, it was you? no, it was donald trump. >> i did not want to be identified. very upnet. >> willie, you know, golfing is one thing, i won the 1987 masters, you, nobel prize for cold fusion. >> yeah. >> and what was that. >> it was a shared award. but i was the head heaner. >> you were the headliner, exactly. you know what donald trump does, you know what he is best at doing? >> the guy makes deals. >> that's what he does. i thought you were going to say spinning conspiracy theories. >> he's doing that, while he's doing deals, eddie murphy, i'm making deals in "trading
places." that's what donald trump does, he makes deals, he assures us, elect me, i'm going to make the greatest deals and nobody can do this but me. >> he wrote a book, right, "the art of the deal." >> "the art of the deem. request itself. >> so this all has been like his brand, womanly, right? >> yeah. >> how is that working for him? >> well, yesterday not so well. he said a couple years ago he gets his kicks of making deals, that's what he does, with nine days left to fund the government, president trump found himself at the negotiation table sitting next to empty chairs. it all started as most things do with this president with a tweet before his smooet meet, trump tweeted this -- . >> wait, can i ask you a qui question? this guy went to wharton, that's what he claims. can you bring the tweet up again, do they teach you at
wharton to put chuck and nancy, to put names in quotation marks? >> interesting. >> he didn't know how to even write and he's always saying he's the smartest guy. . >> every time you see chuck and nancy, done you think sid and nancy? >> i do. especially the quotes. there is a melancholy feel to that. >> he's trying to make that a thing, chuck and nancy, calling them schumer and pelosi. >> he coined it. >> an assertion of authorship. this is my coinage, chuck and nancy. >> boy, that sure is good. i didn't know that ivy league degree didn't get away. >> so the problem with all this, 245 tweet he writes illegal immigrants flooding into our country unchecked, are weak on crime and want to substantially raise taxes. i don't see a deal.
later schumer and pelosi pulled out of the meeting. >> we had hoped to make progress with the administration on these issues in a meeting this afternoon. unfortunately, this morning, instead of leading, the president tweeted a blatantly inaccurate statement and then concluded, i don't see a deal. given that the president doesn't see a deal between democrats and the white house, leader pelosi and i believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our republican counterparts in congress instead. and we would like to sit down right away. we'll be happy to sit down with the republican leadership as we did six months ago and we got this done without the president being involved. >> so house speaker ryan and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell issued a statement before the meeting trying to coax their counterparts to come to the meeting. they wrote -- we have important work to do and democratic leaders have continually found
new excuses not to meet with the administration to discuss these issues, democrats are putting government operations, particularly resources for our men and women on the battlefield at great risk by pulling these antics. but when the meeting took place, there was president trump with two empty chairs. >> still, ki bring people together. >> one empty chair for pelosi, one empty chair for schumer beside him. >> chuck schumer and nancy pelosi did not show up for our meeting today. i'm not really that surprised. we have a lot of differences. so they decided not to show up. they have been all talk and they have been no action and now it's even worse, now it's not even ta talk. . >> if that happens, i would braham the democrats, if it happens, it will be over illegals pouring into the country, crime pour nook the country. no boarder wall, which everybody
wants. i got elected partially because of a border wall. you look at the military, we want strong funding for the military. they don't. so many things. as an example, they want high taxes. we want to cut taxes. >> wait, hold on. they want -- he wants cut taxes. c'mon. there were so many inaccuracies and falsehoods in that mike barnical, they want illegals coming over the border. by the way, illegals, okay. and he says everybody wants the border wall, no, they don't. it's like two-thirds of americans are against that idea. i think most republicans are against that idea. he's just spewing off and one other thing, too, i don't know if the president knows this or not. they don't know how much of a grass reality has right now, but when he says he will blame democrats for a government shut down, mike, do you think somebody in his white house tell
him the republicans on the executive branch, the republicans on the legislative branch, the house and the senate? and for the most part they own the judiciary, they own washington, d.c. how in the world can he blame democrats if the government shuts down because he's being petulent with his early morning tweets? >> first of all, he creates his universe and believes everything in his universe. this country deserves so much better than what we are witnessing. we are about to see a monstrous tax bill, first real tax bill in 31 years. it will change the entire tax structure. it will affect every american. it was introduced what four, five weeks ago. how many public hearings have they had? nobody knows what's in this tax bill, joe. nobody knows the long-term impacts of this tax bill. >> second verse same as the first. that's what they have been doing all year, womanly. >> and by the way the president predicted yesterday's missile
launch by north korea would change the democrat's mind, nancy pelosi reacted on twitter, quote, donald trump knows his verbal abuse will no longer be tolerated. his empty chair photo opp showed he's more interested in opportunities than in addressing the needs of the american people. poor ryan and mcconnell relegated -- >> let's go back to the beginning of the exchange, what, exactly did the president, if anything, give him the benefit of the doubt, assume there was a strategy, what did he expect to happen with that tweet insulting them before he came to the capitol hill? >> reporter: well, i think what he expected is it would almost be a throw away tweet, something we could put out there, it would rally his base. you have to remember when chuck and nancy get in the room with the president, he actually likes having them there. that's why they reached a tentative agreement earlier this year on immigration. he is more comfortable with that than ryan and mcconnell. that doesn't play well with the
president's base who see chuck and nancy of the representation of everything they hate in washington. this is a way to say, yeah, i'm getting these guys together in the room. i'm not with chuck and nancy, i don't think the white house thought the democratic leaders would not show up. this is a moment where tweets have consequence, even if they are short-term consequences. the fact that the democrat doesn't show up does nothing now to put the government in better position to stay opened on december 8th, which is fastly approaching. we have no sign of you he's sides will come together and keep the government opened. so i don't think it was a particularly effective strategy, if there was a base outreach strategy, because it does u does nothing to solve the problem here. >> what all of our mothers and fathers told us growing up, tweet versus consequences. casey hunt, how do you explain the lovefest --p we are back.
so that's pretty good. i get it. i tip my hat to the control room. so we went from a lovefest with chuck, nancy and don to these tweets. is this, what was he dock here? was this a reaction to, you know, trying to appease steve bannon and appease the bannon wing of the party? >> reporter: i think that both sides here are dealing with bases that want nobody to be talking to each other. basically, for chuck schumer and nancy pelosi, you know, they learned when they went into that the last time they made a deal with the president, they learned what republicans had spent the rest the earlier part of this year learn which is that a lot of the times the president will say one thing and you know blow it up a few weeks later with a tweet or something insulting, then you have to go back to the drawing board.
they went in, made the deal with the president on immigration. there was a lot of fanfare around it and at the end of the day the president pulled the rug out from under them. this time, they said, you know, forget it. that's probably because they're under pressure from liberals and the democratic party, not to be seen working with the president. i think for the president same thing. i think my favorite part of the whole photo op yesterday were mitch mcconnell and paul ryan sitting on the end of that table both looking not so entirely comfortable in that video. kind of shifting in their seats. i mean, they know at the end of the day, they're going to need schuk schumer if they want to keep the government opened. >> if you look in this pick, paul ryan looks happy. >> he looked thrilled. >> reporter: he gave civics lesson when a bill becomes a law, but to make a bill a law in this case, they need democrats. mcconnell and ryan know. that so does chuck schumer. >> they know that, because when you are trying to raise the debt
ceiling, you always have yahoos like me that will vote against it no matter what. so what, maybe there are 20, 30 republicans you knock of his nose immediately. so they do need democrats here. it seems to me that donald trump, by a stupid tweet yesterday morning, has made his life so much more complicated between now and the end of the year because the democrats aren't going to come back to the table. they're not going to give him a vote. the republicans have enough votes to pass these things, but there are about 20 republicans that can't go back home and say yes, i voted to increase the national debt 1.5 to $2 trillion two a reckless tax cut that doesn't help you but helps my donors and i increased the debt process. i would primary that person in a second in any district and tear him to shreds. any conservative could.
>> to go back to the initial premise of this, the mockery of the notion of trump as being a great deal-maker. there is a fundamental reality here, in case he was alluding to it a second ago, the uncomfortable reality is there need to be democratic have etc. to keep the government going, there is complicated politics which you pointed to, the thing that makes it tricky is republicans as you said control both sides of the government. are you trump, you are going into this thing. you know the blame if all things fall apart will be with the republican party. you need the votes. democrats have a lot of leverage, if you start the negotiation, what you don't want to do is give the democrats more leverage. you don't want to make clear how much power you have and provoke them to essentially say, you know what, guys, we have all the power here in some sense because you will need our votes, but we also know you will get blamed if we don't give you our votes. he basically gave democrats more leverage in a vision they already have an uncomfortable
amount of leverage from republican point of view and i'll say one last thing which is the whole thing of how these meetings happen in washington, we always like to cry kabooki theater. right? there is a lot of ka bookie. there is a lot of reasons why kabookie happen. you have to try to make things happen in these uncomfortable circumstances. trump does not -- he does something different, like he plays roller derby rather than kabookie theater. she a fraud like everybody else. he's a different kind of fraud. his fraud lens turns out to blow up the whole thing. >> barack obama critiqued it. we had on this show for some time, was that he didn't care about optics. too often he was -- he seemed aloof. he seemed above it all. we went into that. that had its own challenges. here is a guy that's in the complete opposite dwrex he does
care about optics, but they're destructive optics. and he makes his job so much more difficult. makes the republican party's job so much more difficult. and, willie, john talked about lever annual. you can go back and look at donald trump's quotes about what a great negotiator he is. he always says, i make sure i have the greatest leverage. he has just given the democratic party all the lever annual in the world they need. if i'm chuck schumer and nancy pelosi, i just sit back and i watch the republican party feed on itself. >> this was the entire rationale for his campaign, he didn't know anything about politics, he's not a politician, but he doesn't really care about politics, he's going to come in and do deals the way he did deals at trump tower. he gets people in rooms, he makes things happen. he will take care of the middle east, north korea. he can't even get the leadership of the united states congress to his own table because of his own actions force ar tweet he sent
out. >> forea phony baloney meeting, a window dressing meeting. >> is anyone surpriset at this? his entire life he has been one thing, an individual contributor, it's just him, it's always about him. now he's president of the united states and this is a presidency weighted down by ignorance. ignorance of the institution, ignorance of the responsibilities of a president, ignorance of the responsibilities of a president to the country tapped world. >> of the legislative process. >> of the legislative process the meaning of words and impact on tweets. >> mike, you also look at the so-called deals that he used to make, talk to the people that were in the wakeskating of those deals and they will tell you he didn't pay his bills. he constantly sued somebody for no reason at all, just so he'd pay 60 cents on the dollar. you know, anybody you talked to
that did business with him all they all had the same stories. >> yes. >> he was litigious. of course, he declared bankruptcy. there was a reason why there is not a bank in america that would do business with him. there is a reason why, you know, construction firms in new york stopped doing business with him. it's because he just, this is the sort of nonsense that always falls. >> we have, again, on the eve of perhaps potential passage of the biggest tax bills sense you know 31 years without any really public hearings, we're on the eve of that and we have this apprentice-like stunt yesterday with empty chairs. he is president of the united states, i mean, i assume at some point we will get to a truly frightening story in the new york sometimes about what he thinks about the ""access hollywood"" tape tapped obama birth certificate still, still. >> yeah, if mika were here, she would say he's not well.
but she's not here, so we'll just not hear that this morning. but, willie, he's not well. >> that boy ain't right. i mean, he ain't right. >> we'll get to all this then last night, he's talking about hillary clinton's e-mails, invoking the deep state conspiracy idea that there is a shadow government. >> so listen, there is -- we got to tease, alex is yelling in my ear and has been forfive minutes so we got to tease, so, julie pace, is there a belief that, because, if there is a lot of chatter that something big, a shoe must be about to drop. because donald trump usually seems to freak out and start spinning out of control like this, attacking cnn, attacking us, oh, by the way, good morning, donald. attacking everybody in sight right before a shoe is about to drop. drudge website he watches all
the time suggests a shoe is about to drop. any word inside white house what that might be? >> reporter: the shoe they are waiting to drop is mike flynn, that last week over thanksgiving, there was more fuel added to that fire when it became public that flynn's legal steam no longer talking to the white house legal team about the russia investigation. ever since manafort engaged and papadopoulos were indicted, this has been the fear in this white house. because mike flynn is someone who crosses over the three really crucial periods of time for this president t. campaign in relation to the russia investigation the campaign the transition and those early days in the administration so whether that's going to happen or not, i don't know about flynn, but that is the fear inside the white house right now. >> yeah. still ahead this morning the north korean nuclear threat just got more dire after a missile test shows the entire continental u.s. could be in pyongyang's reach. mike mentioned, the president is drifting back to his own version
of reality, telling people the infamous ""access hollywood"" stap not real, not his voice, questioning the authenticity of barack obach baum's birth certificate. we are talking about the significance of that. you are watching ""morning joe". we'll be right back. strengthened your retirement score. so, that goal you've been saving for, you can do it. we can do this? we can do this. at fidelity, our online planning tools are clear and straightforward so you can plan for retirement while saving for the things you want to do today. nana, let's do this! aye aye, captain! ♪ and as you go through life -whoo! -♪ tryin' to reach your goal
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. a missile was launched a little while ago from north korea. i will only tell you we will take care of it. we have general mattis in the room with us, and we've had a long discussion on it. it is a situation that we will handle. >> north korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. it went higher, frankly, than any previous ones they've taken. it's a research and development effort on their part to continue to build ballistic missiles that can threaten everywhere in the world, basic amy.
and in response the south koreans have fired some pinpoint missiles out into the water to make certain north korea understands that they could be taken under fire by our allie. >> north korea conducted a new test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. it's first launch in roughly two-and-a-half month, state media calls it significantly more powerful and capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. it traveled 624 miles before crash nook the sea of j pan, it potentially could reach owl of the continental united states. gordon chang, good morning, you have been sort of our litmus test on us to check on how significant these developments are. what did you think when you heard about the specs on this latest test? >> well, the increase in range is increment am t. one on the 28th could go to boston t. other goes farther, to washington,
d.c., maybe longer depending on the pay load, nonetheless the north koreans are making fast progress. we need to ask, who is paying for it? the least likely explain sakes they are doing this on their own. >> what's the most likely explanation, gordon? >> that they're getting help from china. >> why is china doing that? you know, we for some time, chosen is, you know, we have diplomats that say, well, everything we have done has failed with north korea. basically, in, is china's first state and this is, why do we allow china to continue to play out this fiction? why do we continue to play out this fiction that somehow they may be a moderating influence on the country that they have enabled for 30 years. >> you know, that's a great question. and i think the reason is, that it's -- actually, in the u.s. political context, it's easier to go to war than it is to
impose costs on new york's backers, which include china, russia and other states. yesterday we heard lindsay graham talk about the drip to war. he introduced this note of fatalism in it. it almost seemed that this was going to happen. what we're doing right now is we're just managing the road to war. so instead of having mattis in the room and talking about this, we should have had treasury secretary mnuchin talking about sanctions. i believe if we were to impose sanction, which were extremely severe, we could solve this peacefully and have a diplomatic solution when the north koreans and chinese realize there was no choice but to give into the international community. >> gordon what role, if any, could russia play in this, they are strategic neighbor in that rim of the pacific what role, if any, could that play in this? >> you know, russia is a big
state. they do have influence on china. they could be a moderating influence. but that's not the way putin thinks. putin believes he needs xi jinping's help on a number of different matters, he is not going to impose what they are doing. putin would rather make trouble in the baltics and ukraine, he is in the above trouble in asia. his role largely up until now has not been helpful. you can see that from moscow talking about how all of this is america's fault. we may not be blameless, but you know, this is not a u.s. issue. china created this matter. china can solve it and putin needs to understand that. >> julie pace. >> gordon, there was a lot of speculation about why there had been this two-and-a-half month pause between the last missile launch and some discussion in the u.s. about whether there was something going on behind the scenes that was keeping north korea at bay. do you have any insight as to whether there were discussions or progress being made, whether
we should read this launch now as a signal that something has changed? >> i actually don't have insight. i have speculation. that is that i always tot the north koreans could stop being provocative in the 19th national congress in beijing. that's, indeed, what happened. we have this narrative of icy relations between the chinese and north koreans. a lot of that is real. when kim jong-un sent out more message of congratulations to xi jinping. i think that made it clear the chinese told the north koreans not to do anything belligerent. because xi jinping didn't want to do anything to disrupt his drive to absolute power. you know, i'm surprised by the launch, right now the north korean military is preparing for its winter training cycle. so i thought this would be a distraction t. fact that out kurd surprised me and i guess some other people as well. so we need to rethink about what
is going on. they were able prevent the north koreans from launching. >> thanks, so much. we appreciate it. >> thank you. still ahead on "morning joe." we will speak with senator chris coons and peter king from the armed services committee. "morning joe." will be right back. i just got my cashback match,
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and lastly, share it on social media. this is our shot to take. learn more at: myshotatepilepsy.org . >> i think you start knowing will you come out in the game to keep a streak alive, maybe. that's not what it's about. it's not fair. it's not fair to me. it's not fair no geno. it's not how you play. you play to win. you are named the quarterback, starting quarterback to go win the football game. you know you will play a little bit. i didn't feel it was the right way to play from that was two-time super bowl winning eli manning with the giants announced they will bench eli manning and start back-up geno smith under center. it will mark the first time
manning will not start for the giants, ending a streak of 210 iraq lar season starts. >> that ranks second longest behind brett favres 297. >> so what are they going to do now? seriously in they benched this guy that's won two super bowls, do they think that will change anything? >> of course in not t. argument of the coach ben maca do you is looking no the future. he has been quick to criticize eli manning this season and last season. tom coughlin who is now running operations for the jacksonville jaguars left out eli mannings defense. he coached him, won two super bowls with him. i suspect if they keep this up, he may move on. this may be the end of his giants career and could end up in jacksonville, where they're looking for a good quarterback. this isn't the way you treat a guy, who has been the face the classy face i should point out for the organization for 13, 14
years. >> a franchise player, still a good quarterback. not at the peak of his powers anymore. still a solid performer. >> the idea that he's the problem with the team. outrageous. >> the general manager was jerry reese, that his name? a series of terrible drafts, coach clearly effective in pulling that team together. this is akin to maybe in the last year or two of darius jeter's career if someone completely dissed him. sat him down. >> and blamed him for the yankees not making the playoffs. coming up next, we have eugene robinson with us, why he says the whole country will end up paying the price for president trump. peggy noonan at the top of the hour, morning joe returns..
hanging out at mar-a-lago says this will be opened soon. according to two people familiar with the conversations there. president trump is also drafting his own version of reality. multiple reports led by the "new york times" say he is privately reversing the admission and policy for saying he kisses and dproeps women on a hot mike in 2005, the ""access hollywood"" tape the washington post says two people heard him make those comments. shortly before his inauguration, trump told a republican senator he wanted to investigate the recording, quote, we don't think that was my voice trump told the senator, according to a person familiar with that conversation t. washington post quotes a source who spoke with the president saying, it's really not me, i don't talk like that. in recent months "time's" sources say trump used closed-door conversations to question the authenticity of president obama's birth certificate. one senator who listened as the
president revived his doubts about obama's birth second quarter chuckled on tuesday as he recalled that conversation. the president, he said, has had a hard time letting go of his climb that obama was not born in the united states t. senator asked not to be named to discuss private conversations. joining us now from washington, pulitzer prize winning columnist and associated editor of the washington post and msnbc political analyst eugene robinson, there is a lot to get to there. this is a president that can't get past the results of the election or president obama's birth and the ""access hollywood"" tape and its authenticity. >> i think it's more than being able to let go of the past, willie. i think it's really concerning. it's one thing to keep up this sort of facade of blustery facade and to make public statements that don't always make a lot of sense, but that project a sort of strength and
confidence and bluster, is the only word. it's quite another thing, though, if the president has convinced himself of the alternative reality, that can be, that should be concerning to all of us. if he actually believes this stuff. if he believes, for example, that this ""access hollywood"" tape that he acknowledged at the time and apologized for, now in his mind, it wasn't him in that bus. it wasn't him on that recording. really? that, i don't know about you, but that worries me. >> casey hunt, obviously, this again, apparently, a real disconnect from reality has to have implications on the hill, too, from republican congress already jittery about the guy who is running their party. >> reporter: well, joe, what stuck out to me was in the "time's" referenced it as a you can ch him as this senator
recounted this conversation. i have to say privately when you talk to republicans about this president, you know, they alt nate between laughing and crying but it feels that way. they one minute are, well, this is what we are. then, you know, on the other hand, there is this kind of underlying element of despair and i think it's playing across the board into their kind of desperation to pass this tax bill. they feel like it's the only thing that can really save them right now. no eb really feels like they have an understanding of what trump's voters are going to do to them in 2018. they watched what happened in virginia and, you know, saw a lot of everyday that 2018 is going to be a really, really difficult time for them because of this president and all of this plays into it. and, you know, they don't really understand why the president can't get over these old controversies-and-he doesn't understand why now that he's president, it's going to be about him. this is not going to be about, you know, these kind of past fights that have already been
fought. the president won and so there is an element of confusion about why he keeps going back to barack obama or hillary clinton's e-mails or these issues that are settled. >> julie pace, what's the mood inside the white house? we've had reports from inside the white house all talking about in the past donald trump yelling at tv sets, him being increasingly isolated. what can you gather from your source there is, what's the state of mind right now? >> reporter: well, i think it raises a big question for a lot of staffers there. particularly the ones that have been around him for a long time. when do you push back? you get the feeling that when the president puts these things out there, when he says, the ""access hollywood"" tape wasn't me or maybe barack obama wasn't born in the u.s. that no one around him is standing up and saying, no, mr. president, that's not true? that has been the climate there. some is because staffers know
the president can lash out at them. they know that he can turn on people who are even very close to him very quickly so there is some reluctance to push back. that was one of the things that john kelly was supposed to bring to this white house. he was supposed to be the truth-teller, a person who could speak to the president almost as an equal. but based on this really strong reporting that we see from the "time's" it doesn't seem to be happening now. >> gynewrite thene, you write t-
nilism. you can extend that to the state department, where diplomat itself say they are setting them back a decade or so, not filling these positions or having relationships with our allies we had previously. >> reporter: this is a huge deem. rex tillerson, who, unlike many appointees, mr. trump appointees, is actually a sane person and a very intelligent person, but he's running the state department as if he's on some sort of junior accountant with a green eye shade, who has been asked to cut costs overall, as dam the diplomacy and the result is that droves of the most senior diplomats are leaving and taking with them expertise and contacts that are not just vital but necessary in a crisis. and there is always a crisis a.
crisis always arises. we are in one right now with north korea. it's astoungd and very dastound it's happening, there is no director of a white house science office at the time of and the staffing has been cut more than in half. well, that's one thing and probably saves some money, but at a time of extremely rapid scientific and technological change, you would think the president would want some advice on that. and presidents since gerald ford have. this president doesn't. it's going to take a long time to put these, to put this back together again and in the meantime, i just think it's a dangerous thing for the country. >> and, john, we try not to -- try to keep everything in context, try not to get too excited by the tweets and by some of the more outrageous
statements, but when the president starts dealing in conspiracy theories, when he starts believing his own conspiracy theories, when he starts spewing this me, at least, that is a disturbing look into his state of mind and his inability to actually sort out reality from those conspiracy theories that he, a lot of his supporters and a lot of russian bots in social media push out every day. >> given what's escalating on the korean peninsula, it's one of those moments where these questions we ask. we talk about whether trump is manipulative, whether he does things because he's calculating or whether he's nuts. we have arguments about that all the time. i always thought it could be kind of both. he could be a little bit -- not completely in his right mind and
also manipulative. in this moment when you see an international crisis building that could draw us into a catastrophic war, to have the president going around, reraising questions, does he actually believe barack obama was born in kenya, is there some chance that the president believes that his voice is not on the "access hollywood" tape? those would be signals to someone who has become in a fundamental way -- i don't want to sound too much like mika brzezinski here but fundamentally unhinged. prospect of war as i just suggested, it is genuinely -- this is the kind of story that will have resonance with the kind of people because it is genuinely -- the notion of the president knocking around, saying these things that are just untethered from reality, that's scary. >> and, willie, a change from this time last year.
two years ago, whenever it was, when he apologized. >> right. >> when he admitted that he was the one on the tape. when he let insiders know that he really didn't think that barack obama was born in kenya, that he was just trolling him because it put kenya on his harvard application. he was trolling barack obama. >> and playing his base. >> and playing to his base and was very conscious of it. now the fact that we get these images of him stumbling around at mar-a-lago, actually believing that that wasn't his voice on the tape, that it was some grand conspiracy, that barack obama may actually have been born in kenya suggests that even in the past year maybe his abilities mentally have declined even more. >> or last night tweeting that it was the deep state that
helped hillary clinton with the e-mail scandal. i think also while this is all about the ground he has softened with the claims of fake news and everything else, don't believe your eyes and your ears. he has softened it enough to go back and say there are some other things we should look at again, like the "access hollywood" tape. >> he's doing it privately. if he were doing it on twitter, it would be more comfortable. he's just trolling people. >> playing to his base. >> these reportings suggest that these private conversations with senators where he pulls them aside and says, you know what -- >> i think he has convinced himself at this point. >> and, gene, that's what's so disturbing. >> it is. >> it sounds like he has convinced himself. he really is detached from a real i reality and is now embracing these conspiracies that at one time he knew was false. >> that's profoundly concerning, joe. it really is. we need to step back and read
these stories again, "the times" story and "the post" and think about the prospect that the president of the united states is not fully in his right mind. let's just say it. is not fully in touch with reality and is worsening because he wasn't saying these things during the campaign. this job has a lot of pressures, lot of frustrations and i don't think you can look at him without wondering if there's a concerning deterioration there in his mental state. >> we'll be reading your piece in the washington post this morning. thank you so much. always good to see you. >> good to be here. peggy noonan joins us next. . what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is
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bp's natural gas teams use smart app technology to share data from any well instantly. so they can analyze trends and stop potential problems in their tracks. because safety is never being satisfied and always working to be better. i dealt with them all my life. if you can't make a good deal with a politician, then there's something wrong with you. you're certainly not very good. >> chuck schumer and nancy pelosi did not show up for our meeting today. i'm not really that surprised. we have a lot of differences. so they decided not to show up.
they've been all talk and they've been no action. and now it's even worse. now it's not even talk. >> welcome back to "morning joe." that's donald trump talking to himself, continuing that theme from earlier in the hour. with two chairs there. you know peggy noonan who is here -- who loves peggy noonan? >> unanimous. >> everybody is raising their hand out there. if donald trump were here, he would say 50,000 people, if there's one. 50,000. anyway, so donald trump -- >> yes. >> is supposed to be the deal maker. elect me. i'll make the deal. yet yesterday in a situation where he needs democrats to raise the debt ceiling, because as i've said before, yahoos like me always vote against raising the debt ceiling.
he insults the leaders. >> taunts them at a key moment. >> taunts them at a key moment. and anybody who asks me about washington, what do you need to know about washington to succeed there, i say know that it's not what it seems and the minority leader in the senate is usually the most powerful person in washington. he taunts chuck schumer, nancy pelosi and now puts himself in a position where he may have a government shutdown with the republicans owning all of washington. >> of all the real estate. >> of all the real estate. what are we to make of this leader at this time? >> well, it struck me yesterday, as i watched the extraordinary white house meeting with the two empty chairs representing the democrats who didn't come to the meeting, i just thought, obamacare was not successful. the obamacare reform. the tax thing not -- or the tax
thing a struggle. we'll see how it goes. president trump is not good at the art of the political deal. he apparently was good at business deals. he has won an election race but he is not good at making the deals you've got to make to get big legislation through. it seemed to me from day one with president trump the obvious play was for the democrats. trump himself had a base, but they were ideologically mixed. there was an opening with the democrats. >> they would follow him wherever he went. >> and originally they were afraid of him. they didn't know his power. they were shocked by his victory. there could have been a real coming together moment there. i think the moment was wasted. i don't think the president understood what the play was. i think he was fooled, frankly, by republicans in the house and senate into thinking they were
the play, they were the people who, together, they could do everything. but i don't think among many thoughts, i suppose, on this, i don't think we are living in the age where any major piece of legislation will be respected and accepted by the american people unless two parties back it, end of story. and he's not there. >> so, let's look back over the past 30 years. and look what presidents got right and what presidents got wrong. you can look at george h.w. bush. the first gulf war. he threw his arms around democrats and republicans. he threw his arms around -- >> the whole world. >> the whole world. he had syria. >> how many allies did we have in desert storm? >> and he understood. he understood that he was open for business, in the business of making friends. you can look at bill clinton, a guy that drove me crazy at times. but by the end, i always joked to people, what was bill clinton like?
i said you could impeach him on a thursday and on friday he would ask you to go out golfing and never talk about it. of course never invite me out golfing but we joked about that on the hill. because for bill clinton it was never about what was in his rear view mirror. it was about what vote do i need to win tomorrow and then you look at george w. bush. >> he did welfare reform so brilliantly. he allowed the republicans to drag him, kicking and screaming to that bill. he tormented them, getting everything he thought he could get to make it better for his base. and together they signed it and then laughed and went on. that's how you do it. it's not good that we don't do it that way anymore. i think mr. obama gets some responsibility here for how he bullied through obamacare in the same way. >> i want to talk about -- again as we move forward i wanted to talk about george w. bush and iraq. yes, he had democratic votes but it was his way or the highway. and democrats learned that pretty quickly.
so the iraq war, when it went badly, was owned by george w. bush. barack obama, passed obamacare. everything. yes, you can blame the republicans just like donald trump can blame the democrats. but anybody that knows washington knows there's always to be made. there's always a democrat you can pick off, always a republican you can pick off. here we have the third presidency where sort of the balkanization of american politics has taken place. aren't the american people at a point where they're like, i don't care. i want to see both sides together? i want a bipartisan bill. >> they don't respect a big bill unless both sides have a piece of it. >> this is uniquely different, though this presidency. you can say all you want about george wncht bush and iraq or
barack obama and obamacare. this is uniquely different. it's an independent contributor, solo act. he has always been a solo act. etches no sense of what it is like to be on a team. no sense at all. we are at a frightening point in our democracy, a president who is apart from reality. >> so, julie, the president came in, claiming he was going to be deal maker. we hear stories he's wandering around, repeating conspiracy theories to friends, members of the united states senate that spend time with him tell me, tell other people, just like democrats privately said -- senior democrats said they had no use for barack obama, something, of course, they would never say publicly, but they would tell any reporter who would listen. now you're hearing republicans saying donald trump is just not
all there. and they're very worried about it privately. but publicly, there's this disconnect. how does a political party follow a president over a ledge on, let's say, a tax bill that has a 30% approval rating if they're afraid the president is, quote, not all there? >> it's almost as though the president is following the republicans over the ledge on the tax bill. this is the thing for republicans, that they feel they have to get done this year. and they see trump at this point largely as a vessel to sign this piece of legislation. they feel like if they can get this done at the end of the year they can head into the mid terms. that's when we really have to look for whether they start to break with him because there is no legislative plan for 2018 for republicans. there is no next agenda item that they're going to start pushing. there is no sense of the direction that they really want to take, the country. they basically want to pass this
tax bill and go out to the country and say we passed taxes, we got neil gorsuch. keep us in power. i think donald trump remains popular with the base. for a lot of these republicans, they'll be reluctant to break away from him but know he can be a loose canon and at any moment they'll be faced with these questions about something he says, a conspiracy theory that goes maybe from private to public. >> so, just moments ago, the "today" show had some breaking news that has to do with our nbc family. let's listen to what savannah guthrie just announced. >> just moments ago, nbc news chairman sent the following note to our organization. dear colleagues, on monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by matt lauer. it represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. as a result, we have decided to terminate his employment.
while it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he has been at nbc news, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident. our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender. we are deeply saddened by this turn of events but we will face it together, as a news organization, and do it in as transparent a manner as we can. that is the statement from our chairman. and we just learned this moments ago this morning. as i'm sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this. and i will tell you right now, we do not know more than what i just shared with you. but we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. i'm sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come. we promise we will share that with you.
and, hoda, i mean, you know, for the moment all we can say is that we are heartbroken. i'm heartbroken for matt. he is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he has been loved by many, many people here. and i'm heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell. and we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks. how do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? and i don't know the answer to that. but i do know that this reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important. it's long overdue. and it must result in workplaces where all women, all people feel safe and respected. as painful as it is, this moment in our culture and this change had to happen. >> it did. this is a very tough morning for both of us. i've known matt for 15 years and
i've loved him as a friend and as a colleague and again, as you were saying, savannah, it's hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day. we were both woken up with the news kind of predawn and we're trying to process it and trying to make sense of it. it will take time for that. >> we're processing it with all of you at home. and we promise to be transparent and be straightforward and continue this important conversation. >> absolutely. >> and there's no real way to do this. but this show has been on the air for more than 65 years. and we're here because of you. we're supposed to bring you the news so we're going to do that. we're going to keep doing it, doing it together, all of us. so we will go on. >> yes, we will. >> with the news. and our top story has to do with north korea. dramatic and dangerous development. >> obviously very sad news for everybody here at nbc. obviously, for the person who was brave enough to come
forward, also as savannah said there, for a lot of people at the "today" show that have known and loved matt for a very long time. you know, mike barnicle said after the passing of tim russert that television is an mri for the soul that, you know, if you see somebody long enough on tv you really can get a look at who is inside. i'll tell you, that was true with tim and, my gosh, with savannah right there. savannah and hoda. they're there because -- you know, willie, that was very moving. i didn't know matt really well but you worked with him an awful lot. and i would guess that despite these terrible circumstances, like hoda and like savannah, you've considered him a friend for a long time and worked with him. so this has to be devastating
news. >> yeah. i'm stunned. like savannah, i didn't know anything about this until a couple of minutes ago. i don't know what the allegations are specifically. but my heart is with the person who made those allegations for stepping forward. my heart is with my friends over there, savannah, one of my dearest friends. i think you saw her class and her grace and her professionalism come through right there, along with hoda. and it's with the staff of the "today" show that's worked with matt for almost 25 years and considered him a friend. and he is the leader over there. you know, is he in charge. so i'm thinking about all my friends across the street and my thoughts, of course, are with matt. he has been a friend. he has been a mentor. he has been a guy you could watch, a guy who led by his example on the set, the way he treated the crew, the way he knew everybody's name, the class and dignity he carried himself with. obviously, i didn't know about these other things that we'll in and out -- we'll now be
examining and reporting ourselves. i looked up to him and he taught me a whole lot. >> i haven't known matt. when people asked me about matt the only thing i could tell him, peggy, when i came here as a republican and went over to the "today" show for the first time nobody talked to me but matt lauer got up from his desk, walked across the studio, like fumbling over a lot of things, shook my hands and said we're glad you're here. >> that was nice. >> and i relaxed. >> he appreciated the predicament you were in? >> that was my one small glimpse with him. but if he listen to willie and savannah and you listen to hoda, he really was like family. and you wrote a column about this. i think what everybody is grappling with now is how do you sort through all of this? how do you -- as savannah said, somebody that you've known and loved and worked with for all these years, when they do bad
things. that sounds kind of like what we all have to do with members of our own family and sort through it but this is a much bigger moment with ---y want to say larger consequences than with family but it's very complex. >> it is. >> how do we sort through this moment? i'm starting to read and mika's starting to tweet columns where people said let's not jump the shark. let's be careful here so it doesn't blow up in our face down the road. there's a "new york times" column last night talking about that. how do we sort through all of this? >> it's complicated. first of all, this is an ethical moment. we're sitting here. this just happened live. it's quite something. it struck me when i saw savannah being pained and strong in her words and eloquent and also
uncompromising, that this is the second time i've seen women who are anchors on a morning show have to react to the extraordinary fall of someone alleged to have done dreadful wrong. and now falling. and they didn't know it was happening. and it's complicated. it was painful to see. one thing that strikes me as extraordinary is we're used to seeing these break in newspapers, break in print and present numbers of allegations and patterns of behavior. this appears, if i understood it correctly, to be an internal investigation. >> correct. >> that yielded not the announcement of a we're looking into these charges but you're out of here. so, that is extraordinary. and i suspect we will be seeing some extraordinary news reports
in the coming days about what happened. but, look, something happened in the past few months. something -- a phenomenon that had been harassing women and all of society for many decades suddenly wasn't going to be accepted anymore. and it has changed everything. and will continue to change a great deal, i think. and so, wow, we're in a moment. you almost don't wake up any more and put on the news and not go wow, you know. sorry to speak so long but i'm just still processing it. >> and we all are. >> from sector to sector to sector. it was hollywood, media. i suspect in politics when we finally figure out about that fund in congress. >> oh, yeah. >> that john conyers used that will blow open like the banking scandal did in '93 and '94. >> yes, exactly. >> and now we're at least
hearing -- i say we, not nbc news but i've heard and mika and other people, that it's about to blow up in the tech sector. mike, this is going from sector to sector, to sector. >> you know, it's long past due. i'm stunned by this. i've known matt for 25 years. i consider him to be a friend. willie was apt in his description of matt. i am so proud of savannah guthrie, her professionalism and her ability to stay in the moment on live tv about a person who is quite dear to her. >> while feeling anguish. >> yes. yes. >> by the way, can we say also that she identified him as her friend. >> yes. >> she identified him as someone she loved. we all have seen people throughout our public careers that are best friends with
somebody when they can serve them well, but the second something terrible like this happens, they throw them under the bus and suddenly they were never their friends. >> that's exactly who savannah guthrie is. you said it. that was the mri to her soul. you saw her humanity there. i don't know any specifics of these allegations. but i do want to say on behalf of the person who stepped forward, matt lauer is the most powerful person at nbc news, arguably. >> no doubt. >> at least the most powerful on-air talent. it took some real courage for this person to step up and say i'm going to come out and say the thing i'm going to say. i'm going to come out and tell my story. i don't know the details of it. and i love matt and consider him a friend but i don't want to lose sight of a person who took a pretty big leap and stepped out on the ledge to take on someone of matt's stature. >> it was a huge leap. you're right. matt was the most powerful person. >> joe, as you were talking and
you referred to this, you have a daughter. you have a daughter. i have four daughters. and you want to see an age -- you want to see the reality come to it where a young woman goes for a job and it's her intellect, her ability that gets her the job and keeps her in the job. you don't want to see her preyed upon. >> no. >> in any profession, whether it's the media, whether it's high tech, whether it's medicine. whatever. you don't want to see that occur. >> and preyed upon in such a weird way. one of the things that has been starting about the past few months of news is the reports of women that the men in significant positions in media, in show business, in politics didn't just -- they didn't make passes. they didn't press themselves upon them. it's not like a 1940s movie. it's weirder out there. these women were abused in ways
that were odd, in the harvey weinstein case alone, he hires an army of goons to go after a woman who he had very seriously abused to shut her up. i mean, it's bullying and ugly out there. >> it's sexual extortion. >> yeah. in a way. you know, i recommend something that people can google, pope john paul ii in 1995 wrote a letter to the women of the world. a friend of mine sent it to me last night. in a funny way it almost presaged the moment we're in. it said you're not being given respect. he asked the world to appreciate what women are in the workplace. he said i love women at work. i love women at home. i love them everywhere. but they deserve respect. they haven't gotten it always. and it was touchingly pertinent to the moment we were in. >> and julie pace, in
washington, obviously, stories about al frank en right now, jon conyers. of course, the president of the united states certainly has had many complaints issued towards him. what is the attitude in washington, d.c. and do you think that eventually there's going to be an investigation into this fund that congress set up for themselves? >> i think that investigation is almost inevitable at this point. it's hard to see how lawmakers avoid it. look, washington, politics has been touched by this as much as any of the other industries that you mentioned there. and this is something that has been going on in washington for a really long time. and the courage of these women who have come forward, and they won't be the last, is inspiring. it is highly commendable. and i think the most important thing going forward, both in washington and across all of these industries that have been
touched is that their courage doesn't go to waste. it's not just a series of stories that have come out. that it's not just people who are being fired from their jobs but there are real investigations and there are real changes being made. that's the only way that i think we can really honor and show the respect for these women who have come forward. >> julie pace, thank you so much for sticking around. still ahead, we'll bring in white house correspondent for bloomberg news, shannon pettipiece. joining the table. north korea, tax bill that a lot of people don't think adds up and much more. you're watching "morning joe." ♪ everyone deserves attention, whether you've saved a lot or just a little. at pnc investments, we believe you're more than just a number.
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yesterday's senate budget committee hearing where lawmakers voted to advance the tax bill to the full senate. join us now, democratic senator chris coons. ron johnson and bob corker came around yesterday to get that through the committee by a 12-11 party line vote. what is the future of this tax bill? do you think it will become law? >> well, i hope not but that certainly seems more likely today, after it advanced through the budget committee. i'll remind you and our viewers that there are still significant differences between the senate version and the house version that will have to be worked out. as the republicans barrel towards trying to deliver on president trump's christmas promise of a big gift to the american people. i'm struck at the difference between what president trump campaigned on, a real middle class tax cut, and what this tax bill seems to be, which is something that will add $1.5
trillion to our deficits and debt and that overwhelmingly favors the wealthiest americans and the most profitable corporations. >> senator, early on, bob corker expressed concern about this bill. and skepticism because it did add $1.5 trillion to the national debt and said the economy wasn't going to get enough of a bump for it to make sense in the long run. does it look like bob corker and others who expressed concern early on are now buckling? >> a number of real fiscal conservatives who continue to be concerned of deficits and debt like senator corker are trying to add into this bill some sort of trigger mechanism that would roll back some of the bigger tax cuts if the growth that's promised doesn't materialize and deficits soar. that might be too little, too late to fix the hole in our annual budget that would be caused by this bill but i at least commend senator corker for trying to slow down this hurdling train and look at it and try to fix it.
i'm still struck, joe, by the difference between what donald trump campaigned on and what this bill is actually delivering, which will be significant cuts that will harm lots of middle-class americans by eliminating all sorts of things on which they rely and giving permanent tax cuts to america's corporations. >> in terms on the middle class americans and all americans, introduced four or five weeks ago, can you tell people how many public hearings have been held on this bill where people have been able to come and sit and listen to the committee talk about the bill and the impacts on us. how many hearings? >> the last time tax reform happened under president reagan more than 30 years ago, there were dozens of hearings. it was truly bipartisan and revenue neutral. there have been no public hearings on this bill. it was introduced and rushed immediately to markup. there was a finance committee markup but there were no hearings. so, actually understanding what's in this package is
something that will only be known once it's passed. when one party tries to ram through a big piece of legislation without including the other, without public hearings the results don't usually turn out as well, as hopeful or as expected. that's going to be true here as well, i think. >> senator coons, greatly appreciate it. shannon pettipiece and stephanie ruhle. shannon, does it look like it's a feta com plea and republican also pass anything they can so they don't go home for the christmas break with nothing to show after a year in power? >> the best capitol hill watchers i know say there's a different feeling this time than there was in health care. everybody kind of wants to get to yes. it's who are about tweaks rather
than big changes and they all have, for months and months, recognized that they need to get this passed. really now it's just tweaking the numbers and the details so everyone can go home and say i fought for this. i think it is about the republicans having something to show by christmastime. >> i've always been obsessed with the debt. it's why i ran for congress in the first place. i have my concerns. you talk to a lot of people on wall street. a lot of people on wall street like the bill and the fact that donald trump is deregulating industry. we're hearing now the economy may grow by 4% next year. i think goldman sachs put that out there. am i missing something? >> it doesn't mean it's going to address what plagues this nation. it's not addressing income inequality. if you balloon the debt, if we have programs that are immediately cut, programs that keep americans alive, it's going to devastate people at the
bottom. we're no longer itemizing. people can't deduct their charitable giving, what do you think that's going to do to organizations like the united way? people who give checks every year and know they're going to write it off. sure, does wall street like it? yes, it works for wall street. wall street hates regulation. everyone does. who wants big brother watching? but regulation, smart regulation exists to protect us. >> again, we understand that. if you're republicans and you're going home and saying, you know, i'm running as a pro-business congressman, is this a bill that would make sense for you to support? >> not necessarily. this is a bill that's a cheap, immediate win for republicans because they can say, look, we got it done by the end of the year. but long term this is going to -- if you're a small business in new york, new jersey, california, you're going to get killed. >> right. >> for the president to continue to say it doesn't help him, come on. this is an extraordinary hookup for donald j. trump himself.
>> peggy, the first year you look what republicans have done their first year back in power. they tried to reorder health care. one-sixth of the economy, without any hearings, without regular order. i know it sounds sort of like we're getting in the weeds and procedure but that would kind of be like saying, you know what? we're just going to let the doctor go in and operate on your brain without looking at any x-rays, any mris. because that's just procedure. in fact, i think a brain surgeon would probably tell you that was good. a lot easier to operate on a brain than reorder the health care system without a single hearing. they've done it again with tax reform. you remember '86. >> i do. >> you remember how hard it was to get tax reform through. it took the best minds in washington, d.c., both sides of the aisle working together, trading back and forth, scratching and clawing to finally get to an imperfect
bill. but a tax reform bill. here, they get three or four people in a back room and they're scratching numbers out to try to get the vote. >> herb, do you want this one, bob, do you want that one? there's a lot of different parts of this puzzle. i think one of the things that is a problem with the passing of the tax bill right now is that democrats back in '86 with reagan, they had a real good reason to compromise. what was it? they feared reagan. he had been elected twice in landslides. he was enormously popular. he could hurt them. they couldn't just stiff him. they had to talk to him. and talks gave rise at the end to compromise. this president has not made democrats fear him with his popularity because he's not that popular. you know where his numbers are.
they don't go down but they don't go up. >> you bring a good point. contract with america, it was blasted the contract on america. democrats would get up, this is the worst thing. can you believe newt gingrich, the most heartless -- you throw up the vote, 60% of the democrats would vote for the legislation. oh, wait a second. >> that's true. >> they were scared. just like they were scared of reagan. they are scared to vote against term limits, against the balanced budget, they were scared to vote against these things. nobody fears the least popular president in the history of polling. >> that's true. i mean, that's just where it comes down. also on the democratic party, they have a rising left, grassroots left as elizabeth warren says it's not part of the party. it's kind of the party. well, the left doesn't really want any deal with the republicans. you know how they feel about
trump. so there's that. but also this bill is just at a certain -- we're at a point in history where your big bills are your lowest common denominator messes. you ought to be doing the smaller, less complex ones. >> it appears that the president doesn't care about the contents of this bill and wants point on the board. when that calendar turns to 2018, president trump doesn't want to look back and say i don't have a single legislative achievement. in the two big fights, repealing and replaces obamacare and tax reform, i've lost. >> exactly. and they've known that for month s. they have to get some points on the board. they have to get something passed. tax reform is not something that trump's base was evangelical about. this isn't the wall. it isn't immigration. if this isn't the world's
greatest tax reform bill for them, they're not going to turn on him. but the rubber does hit the road in 2018 and certainly over the next two to three years. if they do pass something and people's taxes do go up. and maybe it's not everyone's. maybe it's a small minority of people who see their taxes go up. democrats certainly will latch on to that. it will be the same as oh, he said you could keep your doctor. you didn't get to keep your doctor. it will be they said your taxes aren't going to go up. your taxes are going to go up. even if it's a small amount of people. they need to be very confident in those numbers on what they sign. republicans want a victory, but this could be dangerous turf they're getting in if things do not go as they planned and outside groups saying things are not going to go as rosily as planned right now. >> willie, do you know what is going rosily? the stock market. donald trump tweeted it this morning. eric trump saying it's booming. wall street is already happier.
you want to make them even more happy? it's suffering america that needs help and this plan doesn't help them. >> the numbers spike again yesterday when news that it got through the budget committee. >> crazy. >> shannon pettypiece, thank you. stephanie, stay with us if you can. did michael flynn push a deal for a company he was being paid to advise while still in the white house? >> oh, boy. >> we'll talk about that ahead. paying less for my medicare? i'm open to that. lower premiums? extra benefits? it's open enrollment. time to open the laptop... ...and compare medicare health plans. why? because plans change, so can your health needs. so, be open-minded. look at everything-like prescription drug plans... and medicare advantage plans from private insurers.
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as part of a plea deal, turkish businessman has pled guilty related to a massive scheme to evade iranian sanctions. it could impact former national security adviser michael flynn. bob mueller reportedly has been looking into a bribery scheme between the turkish government and flynn, which reportedly included having zarrab's case
dropped. as the lead reporter on the story into that alleged bribery scream and also natasha bertrand, who says why this could all cause trouble for flynn. let me start with you, carol, and some of your reporting on this. who is this man, zarrab and why is he potentially significant to the mueller investigation? >> he is someone who basically worked very closely with president erdogan of turkey, accused of running a massive scheme to launder hundreds of millions of dollars to evade u.s. sanctions against iran. he is somebody who, if you're looking at the turkish government and you want to know how that government might move money around, he is your guy. he knows every detail of how that would work. what's potentially significant about him while he was in jail for much of 2016, we know that
he had access to a cell phone and there's the possibility that he could have some knowledge about michael flynn's dealings with turkish government. he money around, how the turkish government would do that. so if the turkish government did indeed cut a deal with michael flynn for $15 million, you could envision robert mueller turning to this individual and asking how that money would be moved into place to show him how that would happen. so there's a number of ways in which his cooperation with the federal government could be significant. we just don't know exactly how. >> and so, natasha, you've been reporting on this story pretty deeply. the alleged bribery scheme that mueller is looking into between the turkish government and general flynn and his son, michael flynn jr., so what does this zarrab piece mean to that larger picture. >> one of the biggest elements that perhaps zarrab could be
helping mueller is the plea deal was the opposite of how high-level prosecutions work. this is a very high-profile guy who's been kind of on the federal government's radar since 2012, 2013, who now is testifying against a much lower level associate. he's really -- it's kind of the big fish testifying against the littler fish so it makes you wonder whether or not the reason why he's cooperating now with federal investigators is because he has information that's really valuable to a much larger investigation, perhaps the one that implicates michael flynn. now, flynn, of course, has been accused or it's been reported that he was offered $15 million to send this muslim cleric, fethullah gulen, back to turkey and to secure the release of zarrab. rudy giuliani was the lawyer for him and went to turkey in february of 2017 of this year to
try to negotiate with erdogan to kind of, you know, alleviate the tension between the u.s. and turkey over zarrab's imprisonment because erdogan has been lobbying heavily for the u.s. government to release him. so this entire case has very, very high level implications both for turkish and american foreign policy and also potentially for the investigation into flynn. >> a lot of dots to connect there. meanwhile another development surrounding former national security advisor michael flynn, "the wall street journal" and "washington post" citin named sources who say in the first week of the trump administration, general flynn took more aggressive moves than previously known to promote a middle east nuclear power plant that flynn had business ties with. the private sector backers of the project, including bud mcfarland, moved quickly to get flynn documents for federal approval, including a draft of a memo that president trump could send to cabinet heads. a source tells "the washington
post" flynn forwarded the e-mail to the national security council staff and instructed them to, quote, put it on white house lett letterhead and send it to the white house for approval. a white house official told "the post" the nsc staff tamped it down of the flynn declined comment to both papers. the company backing the power plant said their memo was written in response to mcfarland being asked to prepare thoughts on the nsc process. >> so, carol, this scheme began prior to donald trump assuming the presidency on january 20th and it was brought into the white house by his national security advisor, former general mike flynn. when are we going to come to the point where nothing surprises us? >> i think we're there. you know, this is remarkable reporting by "the post" and "the journal" in part because you have a national security advisor
to the president of the united states taking an e-mail from a former business associate and then forwarding it to staff and saying let's turn this into a policy document that the president can sign. it's classic conflict of interest and it just shows that a couple of things, one, if this is true, just how brazen michael flynn was once he was inside the white house. and we know that his time there is under scrutiny by robert mueller. but it also shows that he -- this was early into an administration and this particular issue shouldn't wouldn't normally be a high priority given all of the things that this white house was confronting in terms of for the purpose -- foreign policy when it took office. so you have this piece that's obviously under investigation and the piece that we've reported on which is this alleged $15 million deal that michael flynn may have tried to carry out once he got into the white house. and so i think we're all at a point where nothing is really surprising us. >> but it does.
natasha, you know, when we read this story and it shows what a rinky dink rodeo mike flynn was trying to operate there, it's an absolute joke. and we need to remember that president trump has never said anything bad about almost no one, just mike flynn and vladimir putin. president trump has continued to say he's a good guy, he was a loyal guy, it was the media who pushed him out. so what kind of response are you getting from the white house? because it's not like president trump is short on words. already this morning he's tweeting up a storm about all sorts of things, yet no mention on something like this that would have happened on president trump's watch in his white house. >> right. and michael flynn has always kind of been donald trump's achilles heel. he apparently was speaking to michael flynn even after flynn left the white house. he was telling staffers that he wished michael flynn had not left, that he really wanted him to still be national security advisor, even after it came out that he was potentially being blackmailed by the russians. so donald trump has this loyalty
to michael flynn that is really curious. and of course he asked former fbi director james comey if he would consider dropping the investigation into flynn. so there are all sorts of clues about trump's, you know, just loyalty to this guy that are really curious, especially in light of everything that's come out about flynn's past business dealings, about how he brought so much of it into the white house, and why -- of course flynn was a top surrogate on trump's campaign, but of course trump has been very quick to distance himself from people like paul manafort who are under investigation and he hasn't said a bad word about flynn and i don't see him ever doing that. >> we'll see if that loyalty is rewarded as general flynn may be talking to bob mueller. natasha, carol, thank you as always. stephanie ruhle, thank you. we'll see you coming up in an hour or so at 9:00 when we hand off our coverage right at 9:00 this time. we'll do it right at 9:00. we usually roll in a little late for you. still ahead on "morning joe"
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with new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car plus depreciation. liberty mutual insurance. i've watched the politicians, i've dealt with them all my life. if you can't make a good deal with a politician, then there's something wrong with you. you're certainly not very good. >> chuck schumer and nancy pelosi did not show up for our
meeting today. i'm not really that surprised. we have a lot of differences. so they decided not to show up. they have been all talk and they have been no action, and now it's even worse. now it's not even talk. >> welcome back to "morning joe." that's donald trump talking to himself, continuing a theme from earlier in the hour with his two chairs there. you know, peggy noonan -- who loves peggy noonan? >> unanimous. >> everybody is raising their hand out there. if donald trump war to say 50,000 people there if there's one, 50,000. but anyway, so donald trump is supposed to be the deal maker. elect me, i'll make the deal. and yet yesterday in a situation where he needs democrats to raise the debt ceiling, because
as i've said before, people like me always vote against raising the debt ceiling. there's 20 or 30 in the republican party that won't. he insults the leaders -- >> taunts them at a key moment. >> taunts them at a key moment. and anybody who asks me about washington. what do you need to know about washington to succeed there? know that it is not what it seems and that the minority leader in the senate is usually the most powerful person in washington. he taunts chuck schumer, he taunts nancy pelosi, and now he's put himself in a position where he may have a government shutdown with republicans owning of washington. >> all the real estate. >> what are we to make of this leader at this time? >> well, it struck me yesterday as i watched the extraordinary white house meeting with the two empty chairs representing the democrats who didn't come to the meeting, i just thought
obamacare was not successful. the obamacare reform, the tax thing not -- or the tax thing a struggle and we'll see how it goes. president trump is not good at the art of the political deal. he apparently was good at business deals. he has won an election race, but he's not good at making the deals you've got to make to get big legislation through. it seemed to me from day one with president trump the obvious play was for the democrats. trump himself had a base, but they were ideologically mixed. >> they would follow him wherever he went. >> originally they were afraid of him. they didn't know his power, they were shocked by his victory. there could have been a real coming together moment there. i think the moment was wasted. i don't think the president understood what the play was.
i think he was fooled, frankly, by republicans in the house and senate into thinking they were the play, they were the people who together they could do everything. but i don't think among many thoughts, i suppose on this, i don't think we are living in the age where any major piece of legislation will be respected and accepted by the american people unless two parties back it, end of story, and he's not there. >> so let's look back over the past 30 years and look what presidents got right and what presidents got wrong. you can look at george h.w. bush. the first gulf war. he threw his arms around democrats and republicans. he threw his arms around -- >> the whole world. >> the whole world. he had syria -- >> how many allies did we have in desert storm. >> and he understood, he understood that he was open for business. the business of making friends. you can look at bill clinton, a guy that drove me crazy at
times, but by the end we -- you know, i always joked, people would say what was bill clinton like? i said you could impeach him on a thursday and on friday he'd ask you to go out golfing and never talk about it. of course never invite me out golfing but we joked about it on the hill. for bill clinton it was never about what was in his rear-view mirror, it was what vote do i need to win tomorrow. but you look at george w. bush and karl rove. >> and he did welfare reform so brilliantly. he allowed the republicans to drag him kicking and screaming to that bill. he tormented them, getting everything he thought he could get to make it better for his base and together they signed it and laughed and went on. that's how you do it. it's not good that we don't do it that way anymore. i think mr. obama gets some responsibility here for how he bullied through obamacare in the same way. >> again, as we move forward, i wanted to talk about george w. bush and iraq. yes, he had democratic votes,
but it was his way or the highway, and democrats learned that pretty quickly. so the iraq war when it went badly was owned by george w. bush. barack obama passed obamacare, everything, and, yes, you can blame the republicans just like donald trump can blame the democrats. but anybody that knows washington knows there's always a deal to be made. i don't care who it is. there's always a democrat you can pick off, there's always a republican you can pick off. but here we have the third presidency where sort of the balkanization of american politics. and i think you're right, aren't the american people at a point where they're like i want to see both sides together. i a bipartisan bill. >> they don't respect a big bill unless both sides have a piece
of it. >> this is uniquely different, though, this presidency. i mean this is -- you can say all you want about george w. bush and iraq or barack obama and obamacare. this is uniquely different. this is an independent contributor, a solo act. he's always been a solo act. he has no sense of what it is like to be on a team, no sense at all. and it's -- this is frightening. we are at a frightening point in our democracy, a president who is apart from reality. >> we have julie pace in washington with us still. so, julie, the president came in claiming that he was going to be a deal maker. we now hear stories that he's wandering around repeating conspiracy theories to friends, members of the united states senate that spend time with him tell me, tell other people -- just like democrats privately said, senior democrats said they had no use for barack obama. something they would never say
publicly but they would tell any reporter who would listen. now you're hearing republicans saying donald trump is just not all there, and they're very worried about it privately. but publicly there is this disconnect. so how does a political party follow a president over a ledge on a -- let's say a tax bill that has a 30% approval rating if they're afraid the president is not, quote, all there? >> well, i don't think they're following him over the ledge on the tax bill, it's almost as though the president is following the republicans over the ledge on the tax bill. this is the thing for republicans that they feel they have to get done this year and they see trump at this point largely has a vessel to sign this piece of legislation. they feel like if they can get this done by the end of the year, they can head into the midterms and that's when i think we have to really look for whether they start to break from him because there is no legislative plan for 2018 for republicans. there is no next agenda item that they're going to start pushing.
there is no -- there is no sense of the direction that they really want to take the country. they basically want to pass this tax bill, go out to the public and say we passed taxes, we got neil gorsuch on the supreme court, keep us in power. how trump factors into that ike will be really fascinating. i think he remains popular with the base. a lot of these republicans will be reluctant to break away from him but they know he can be a loose cannon and they'll be faced with questions about something he said and a conspiracy theory that maybe goes from private to public. just moments ago the "today" show had breaking news that has to do with our nbc family. let's listen to what savannah guthrie just announced. >> just moments ago nbc news chairman sent the following note to our organization. dear colleagues, on monday night we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by matt lauer.
it represented after serious review a clear violation of our company's standards. as a result, we have decided to terminate his employment. while it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he has been at nbc news, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident. our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected and to ensure any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences no matter who the offender. we are deeply saddened by this turn of events but we will face it together as a news organization and do it in as transparent a manner as we can. that is the statement from our chairman, andy lack, and we just learned this moments ago, just this morning. as i'm sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this. and i will tell you right now we do not more than when i just shared with you, but we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists.
i'm sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come, and we promise we will share that with you. hoda, i mean you know, for the moment all we can say is that we are heartbroken. i'm heartbroken for matt. he is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many, many people here. i'm heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell. and we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks. how do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly. and i don't know the answer to that. but i do know that this reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important. it's long overdue, and it must result in workplaces where all women, all people feel safe and respected. as painful as it is this moment in our culture and this change
had to happen. >> yeah, it did. this is a very tough morning for both of us. i've known matt for 15 years and i've loved him as a friend and as a colleague. just like you were saying, savannah, it's hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know who walks in this building every single day. we were both woken up with the news kind of predawn and we're trying to process it and make sense of it and it will take some time for that. >> we're processing it with all of you at home. we promise to be transparent and be straightforward. >> we will. >> and continue this important conversation. >> absolutely. >> and there's no real way to do this, but this show has been on the air for more than 65 years and we're here because of you. we're supposed to bring you the news, so we're going to do that. we're going to keep doing it, doing it together, all of us, the crew and people that love this show. so we will go on with the news. >> yes, we will. >> our top story has to do with north korea, a dramatic and dangerous development -- >> well, obviously very sad news
for everybody here at nbc. obviously for the person who was brave enough to come forward, also as savannah said there, for a lot of people at the "today" show that have known and loved matt for a very long time. you know, mike barnicle said after the passing of tim russert that television is an mri for the soul that, you know, if you see somebody long enough on tv, you really can get a look at who's inside. i'll tell you, that was true with tim, and my gosh, with savannah right there, savannah and hoda, they're there because you know, willie, that was very moving. i didn't know matt really well, but you worked with him an awful lot and i would guess that despite these terrible circumstances, like hoda and
like savannah you considered him a friend for a long time and worked with him. so this has to be devastating news. >> yeah, i'm stunned. like savannah, i didn't know anything about this until a couple of minutes ago. i don't know what the allegations are specifically. but my heart is with the person who made those allegations for stepping forward. my heart is with my friends over there, savannah, one of my dearest friends. i think you saw her class and her grace and her professionalism come through right there along with hoda. and it's about the staff of the "today" show that's worked with matt for almost 25 years and considered him a friend. he is the leader over there. you know, he is in charge. so i'm thinking about all my friends across the street and my thoughts of course are with matt. he's been a friend. he's been -- he's been a mentor. he's been a guy you could watch. a guy who led by his example on the set the way he treated the crew, the way he knew everybody's name, the class and dignity he carried himself with.
obviously i didn't know about these other things that we'll now be examining and reporting on ourselves. but all i can say from a professional point of view is that he is one of the guys i have always looked up to in this business and he taught me an awful lot. >> yeah, again, i haven't known matt, haven't dealt with him a whole lot. when people ask me about matt, the only thing i could tell them, peggy, when i first came here as a republican and went over to the "today" show for the first time, nobody talked to me. but matt lauer got up from his desk, walked across the studio like fumbling over a lot of things, shook my hand and said we're glad you're here. >> oh, that was nice. >> and i relaxed. >> so he appreciated the predicament you were in. >> i guess. and so that was just my one small glimpse with him. but if you listen to willie and you listen to savannah and listen to hoda, he really was like family. and you wrote a call 'olumn abo this. i think what everybody is grappling with this now is how
do you sort through all of this? as savannah said, somebody that you've known and loved and worked with for all of these years when they do bad things. that sounds kind of like what we all have to do with members of our own family and figure out how to sort through it, except this is a much bigger moment with i won't say larger consequences than with family, but it's very complex. >> it is. >> so how do we sort through this moment, because i'm starting to read and mika is starting to tweet columns where people said let's not jump the shark. let's be careful here so it doesn't blow up in our face down the road. there's a "new york times" column last night talking about that. so how do we sort through all of this? >> it's complicated. first of all, i think this is an epical moment. we're sitting here, this just happened live. it's quite something. it struck me when i saw savannah
being pained and strong in her words and eloquent and also uncompromising that this is the second time i have seen women who are anchors on a morning show have to react to the extraordinary fall of someone alleged to have done dreadful wrong and now falling and they didn't know it was happening. it's complicated, it was painful to see. one thing that strikes me as extraordinary about this story is that what we are used to now is big stories like this break in newspapers or in magazines, but they break in print and present numbers of allegations and patterns of behavior. this appears, if i understood it correctly, to be an internal investigation. >> correct. >> that yielded not the
announcement of a we're looking into these charged, but you're outta here. so that is extraordinary. i suspect we will be seeing some extraordinary news reports in the coming days about what happened. but look, something happened in the past few months. a phenomenon that had been harassing women and all of society for many decades suddenly wasn't going to be accepted anymore and it has changed everything and will continue to change a great deal, i think. and so wow, we're in a moment. you almost don't wake up anymore and put on the news and don't go wow, you know. sorry to speak so long but i'm just sort of processing it. >> we all are. >> and we're moving from sector to sector to sector. it was hollywood, media. i suspect in politics when we finally figure out about that fund in congress -- >> oh, yeah. >> -- that john conyers used,
that will blow open like the banking scandal did back in '93 and '94. >> yes, exactly. >> and now we're at least hearing, i say we, not nbc news, but i've heard, mika and some other people have heard it's about to blow open in the tech sector. some giants in the tech sector are next. so this is -- mike, this is going from sector to sector to sector. >> and, you know, it's long past due. i am stunned by this. i've known matt for 25 years. i consider him to be a friend. willie was apt in his description of matt. i am so proud of savannah guthrie, her professionalism and her ability to stay in the moment on live tv about a person who was quite dear to her. >> while feeling anguish. >> yes, yes. >> and by the way, can we say also that she identified him as her friend. >> yes. >> she identified him as someone
she loved. we've all seen people throughout our public careers that are best friends with somebody when they can serve them well, but the second something terrible like this happens, they throw them under the bus and suddenly they were never their friends. >> that's exactly what savannah guthrie is. you said it. that was the mri into her soul. you saw her humanity there. and again, i don't know any specifics of these allegations, but i do want to say on behalf of the person who stepped forward, matt lauer is the most powerful person at nbc news, arguably. >> no doubt about it. >> at least the most powerful on-air talent but maybe the most powerful person at nbc news, and so it took some real courage for this person to step up and say i'm going to come out and say the thing i'm going to say. i'm going to come out and say my story. i love matt and i consider him a friend but i don't want to lose sight of a person who took a pretty big leap and stepped out on a ledge to take on someone of matt's stature. >> it was a huge leap, because
you're right, matt was the most powerful person. >> joe, as you were talking and you referred to this, you have a daughter, you have a daughter, i have four daughters. and you want to see an age, you want to see the reality come to it where a young woman goes for a job and it's her intellect, her ability that gets her the job and keeps her in the job. you don't want to see her preyed upon in any profession, whether it's the media, whether it's high tech, whether it's medicine. >> right. >> whatever. you don't want to see that occur. >> and preyed upon in such a weird way. one of the things that has been startling about the past few months of news is the reports of women that the men in significant positions in media, in show business, in politics, didn't make passes, they didn't
press themselves upon them, it's not like a 1940s movie, it's weirder out there. these women were abused in ways that were odd. in the harvey weinstein case alone, he hires an army of goons to go after a woman who he had very seriously abused to shut her up. i mean it's bullying and ugly out there. >> it's sexual extortion. >> yeah, in a way. you know, i recommend something that people can google, pope john paul ii in 1995 wrote a letter to the women of the world. a friend of mine sent it to me last night. and in a funny way it almost presaged the moment we're in. it said you're not being given respect. he asked the world to appreciate what women are in the workplace. he said i love women at work. i love women at the home. i love them everywhere, but they deserve respect. they haven't gotten it always.
and it was touchingly pertinent to the moment we were in. >> and julie pace in washington, obviously stories about al franken right now, john conyers, of course the president of the united states certainly has had many complaints issued towards him. what is the attitude in washington, d.c., and do you think that eventually there's going to be an investigation into this fund that congress set up for themselves? >> i think that investigation is almost inevitable at this point. it's hard to see how lawmakers avoid it. look, washington politics has been touched by this as much as any of the other industries that you mentioned there. this is something that has been going on in washington for a really long time. and the courage of these women who have come forward, and they won't be the last, is inspiring, it is highly commendable and i
think the most important thing going forward both in washington and across all of these industries that has been touched is that their courage doesn't go to waste. that it's not just a series of stories that come out. that it's not just people who are being fired from their jobs, but there are real investigations and there are real changes being made. that's the only way that i think we can really honor and show the respect for these women who have come forward. >> you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. helping keep shoppers safe. this is a financial transaction secure from hacks and threats others can't see. this is a skyscraper whose elevators use iot data and ai to help thousands get to work safely and efficiently. this is not the cloud you know. this is the ibm cloud. the ibm cloud is the cloud for business. yours. ♪ ♪
welcome back to "morning joe." mike barnicle, peggy noonan still with us. joining the conversation, chris jansing. good to have you at the table. >> good morning. >> president trump has been busy this morning on social media retweeting in quick succession a series of alarming videos. the first showed a video which allegedly depicts a muslim migrant attacking a boy. the second shows a muslim man
destroying a statue of the virgin mary and the third is an islamist mob pushing a teenage boy off a roof and beating him to death. all three were originally posted to twitter by jada francen. she is part of the group britain first. she was found guilty of harassment of a muslim woman. britain first says it wants to ban islam from the uk and fierce l fiercely opposes mass immigration. piers morgan said what the hell are you doing retweeting a bunch of unverified videos by britain first, a bunch of disgustingly racist far-right extremists? please stop this madness and undo your retweets. >> piers morgan has had a pretty positive relationship with the president of the united states. secondly, he's got -- he's sort of -- his morning show over there is the sensation, and he is -- again, just very plugged
in over there. but again has come under fire there and here sometimes for being -- >> too defensive of trump. >> too defensive of donald trump. but here he's saying, you know, these are crazy. people, willie, that know who this woman is basically say she's a white supremacist. and this fits in, again, with all the disturbing conduct we were talking about in the first two hours. >> there's such a volume of tweets from the president. we can't lose our ability to be shocked. and this is the retweeting by the leader of the preworld, the president of the united states, to 44 million people, which will be amplified even more on media of videos that have not been verified. we don't know who those people are or what's happening in the videos of a woman who is effectively a white supremacist who wants the religion of islam banned from the uk. that's president trump, president of the united states, amplifying that voice to the world. >> peggy, this follows what we were talking about before where
new stories coming out that he is actually behind closed doors repeating conspiracy theories and sort of in this daze of almost not knowing what is reality because, as john heilemann said, it would be a lot less disturbing if he was tweeting this out publicly because then it would be for public consumption. >> triying to rile everybody. >> the fact that he's wandering around repeating these conspiracy theories paints a deeply disturbing portrait, and now we have these tweets. >> yeah. the odd thing is that the president continues to think this works for him. this is a strange thing to think that his tweeting and his recklessness on social media helps him. in fact i think it's one of the biggest reasons his core support
stays where it is and does not grow. he just shouldn't be doing this. he can't get that through his head. during the campaign i told somebody who works for him just get his phone and hide it, literally hide it. and the person said that can't be done. i'm afraid this will likely continue. it roils the water of american life at a time when we are already roiled by 15 different things every day. >> and the problem is also -- well, let's bring in right now a member of the homeland security committee, the permanent select committee on intelligence and the financial services committee, republican congressman peter king of new york, a good friend of mine when he's not insulting me about walking barefooted out of tent revivals. >> good morning, joe. >> good morning, pete. we've been talking about and you've always been a straight shooter, always talked about your concerns about donald
trump, supporting him on the policies but also talking about concerns. we've been talking about concerns about these conspiracy theories. he's repeating this, you know, these birther stories. now he's retweeting a white supremacist tweets. to put this in proper context, of course, as you know better than all of us, we're in perilous times with north korea, with china. you know, people i talk to inside the administration, again, you've got much better sources, tell me we're much closer to war than even the media is reporting right now. how do we -- how can you assure us -- can you assure us that this commander in chief is equipped to handle the nuclear showdown that may be ahead? >> i can say, joe, in my dealings with him when we're
talking about serious issues, he's very serious and focused. but i agree with you as far as why he does the tweeting. if he is going to tweet, he should confine it to serious policy issues, not pass along unverified videos, and also by bringing up these other extraneous issues, it does trifl janua trivialize from other issues. whether it's north korea, whether islamist terrorism, the christmas holiday is coming up, these are all issues we have to focus on. we have to do it in a very direct way. we don't have the luxury of reality tv. we really do have to focus on serious issues. i'm really heartened by the fact that people like general mattis, general mcmaster, that they are there with the president. that they do, i think, provide sound guidance. i think a lot of what we hear from the president is when he sounds off, apparently lyndon johnson used to do this. and now with twitter it becomes
much more public. the president carrying on when they're alone. but again i think as far as the serious decisions when i've been with him, he focussed and he does get the job done. i wish he would not go into these extraneous issues and i don't think it serves a purpose to be looking for a fight with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi when we have the possibility of the government shutting down next week. >> chris jansing has a question. >> congressman, there are many policy issues that we want to ask you about but if i could pick up on something you said. i'm sure you get asked all the time what do we do about it and i hear what you're saying about mattis and mcmaster and they're moderating forces that he listens to and when it comes to the serious decisions, he gets serious. but there is a role of president that is moral leadership. it does seem in this times whether it's talking about white supremacy, talking about sexual harassment and abuse, there is a desperate need and people are
longing for it. is there anything that can be done? is there any influence that is out there? can there be a way for in your mind this president to present himself in a way to the world and to the american people the way you say he often is in private on serious issues? >> chris, i agree with you completely. there's so much chaos, so much confusion, so much mindless hatred and so much extremism on the left and the right, we do need a leader who can calm everybody down. the campaign is over, there's no need to be fighting with chuck and nancy every day or fighting with people in the republican party. i think find some common ground, go forward on that and stress the fact that all of the things we yell about in this country, we're still the best country, we have the best economy and the strongest military, we should keep that in perspective and go forward and take on the real enemies we have. i think it is important to calm the nation down. whether or not the president can do that, i don't know. he's great at mobilizing support when he's -- obviously as he
showed when he ran for president. but again, being president, it's important really to provide strong, firm leadership, calm leadership. ronald reagan, ronald reagan was able to appeal to a broad section of people. again, when the crisis was there, he was able to deliver speeches, be able to reassure the american people and you felt very confident that the man was in control. >> i don't want to put words in your mouth but is what you're saying you're not sure that the president of the united states can provide moral leadership? >> well, the president has a different type personalities. i grew up with guys like president trump in queens. they -- again, it's -- maybe i'm guilty of it at times too. you say things, you get out there, you try to be provocative. there's a time and place for everything. right now i think we've reached a stage where it's important to have calm leadership. i'm hoping the president can make that transition. >> mike. >> congressman, both new yorkers, you and the president. you've known him a long time, right? >> actually i knew his brother before him but i've gotten to
know him very well since the campaign. >> so you're friendly with him, right? >> yes. >> you can have conversations with him, correct? >> right. >> so what would happen to your friendship, do you think, if you next time you're in the oval office off of something like he did this morning, retweeting white supremacist stuff from a complete stranger to most americans and you said to him, mr. president, stop it because you're diminishing the office, you're demeaning the country and you're dividing the country. what do you think would happen to your friendship? what would his reaction be? >> so far i've been able to get away with saying things about the president. for instance, i've been very critical of the tax plan. he said, okay, we're still friends. so i don't know. i wish i did have some time to sit down in a quiet setting. usually when i say meetings, there are three or four people there. i would like the opportunity to sit down and just talk. listen, he's the president, i'm not. he got elected, i didn't. but i do think that it would be
important for him to talk to people in a calm way. people who have no agenda, people who are not trying to move on him, not trying to make ending runs around him. i think that he could listen. whether or not it would stay with him or not, i don't know. >> peggy noonan. >> congressman, good morning. >> good morning, peggy. >> you represent massapequa and massapequa park. >> yes, i do. >> i was a kid there. i lived there, i know something about it. massapequa has about a generation ago been compared to peoria, illinois, that it's the middle of america and where it is politically might suggest where the country is going. if that is still true to some degree, when you go home and you talk to your constituents, what do they say about donald trump? how are they feeling about him? how does that differ from at this time last november? what has the past year done to perhaps change their mind or not? >> i don't believe that that many have chamber of commernged.
they do say tell him to stop the tweets. they like the fact that he's talking about standing up for america. but the tweeting has gotten to a lot of them, so i would say while his numbers may not have changed that much -- again, my district voted for barack obama twice by four points and five points. they voted for donald trump by nine. that's a 14-point turn around so they're still giving him the benefit of the doubt and they like his style to some extent but they are concerned about the tweeting. they say please tell him to stop the tweeting. >> congressman, it's willie geist. you lined up with republican and democratic colleagues in opposition to this tax plan, the one that made its way through the house that you voted against. your concerns are about the state and local tax deductions and what that would do to long island and the state of new york. are you able to convince the leadership in your party to change that provision of the tax bill to get you to vote for it
down the road? >> so far it doesn't look like it. yes, i am very opposed to the fact they are taking out the state and local tax deduction. that to me is really going to be extremely damaging to long island. but i'm also really concerned about the process. i mean in 1984, '85, '86, they spent two years putting together a tax bill. there's so many unforeseen consequences when you're talking about tax reform. they're taking away the medical deduction in the house, interest on student loans. there's other issues involving local financing which local controllers have told me are going to cost local governments millions of dollars. these are issues we haven't even gotten to. they're buried in the bill. so to me we're going to pass a tax reform bill that may last for generations and we're doing it after two or three or four weeks and last time it took two and three years to get it done. i was talking to al damoto and he said he saw so many revisions back in '84 and '85, just when
you realized you had something right, you realized there were unforeseen consequences nobody knew about. we've had no experts come through, and we're rushing this through to get a win on the board. there's no sense getting a win on the board if it's actually a loss. >> but if it passes through the senate do you think it will be with the elimination of the s.a.l.t. deduction in place? >> i think in the senate they will allow property tax deduction up to $10,000, take away the income tax reduction and for districts like mine in high tax areas, one of the reasons is every year new york loses $48 billion that we pay in revenue is not given back to us, it's given to other states around the country. when i hear mick mulvaney talk about new york should get its house this order, we lose $48 billion. $23 billion from long island and mulvaney's state picks up $23 billion that they didn't put in. so it's totally unfair, extremely unfair.
but right now i think it's -- if it passes the senate, it's probably going to pass the house. ultimately after the conference committee. but i'm going to stay on it. yesterday at the news conference, a republican was there, a democrat was there, we are united on this. five of the nine republicans in new york voted against it. again, it's such a parochial issue. it's an issue of fairness and equity. the reason our taxes are higher is because so much of our revenue goes to other states. >> congressman peter king of long island, good morning, massapequa, co-hosted by peggy noonan this morning. thanks, congressman. up next, a nobel-winning economist joins us with his thoughts on the republican tax bill. "morning joe" is coming right back. (♪) (♪)
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hurt in your eyes? >> it hurts average americans. the cbo has done the numbers. remember, it's a moving target so it's really difficult, but when the tax bill is fully implemented in the latter part of the next decade, those whose income is less than $75,000 will see their taxes increase. the billionaires, the corporations will see their taxes decrease. one of the important points that representative king just made is that tax bills are really complicated and they have lots of moving parts. in the 1986 tax reform under president reagan, there was a whole process, there was a book called the blueprint of tax reform. i remember looking at it. they had some really good tax economists trying to work it
out. two years of discussion. now we're having two days. >> two days and how do you get to 50 votes. that's basically what it's been boiled down to. >> and there's no vision. this is not tax reform. we should be clear. >> it's not tax reform. what would your vision of tax reform be, though? what should they be doing if, for instance, the republicans came to you and said we understand you're on the opposite side of where we are ideologically but we want to make our corporations more competitive with other western nations. how do we do it? what would you tell them? >> if you focus just on corporations, i would begin by saying let's broaden the base, get rid of all the loop holes, get rid of those provisions which encourage american businesses to invest abroad rather than invest in the united states. i would always begin a discussion by saying what are the major problems america faces. high levels of inequality, low
levels of investment not caused because they don't have money. they're sitting on $2 trillion, more than $2 trillion of cash. >> right. >> so it's not lack of money. >> so how do you get them to spend that money? what tax bill do you put together? >> the main provision is a tax cut if you invest in america and create jobs, no tax cut if you don't. don't throw the money out and hope and pray that they'll spend it the way you hope it will. and remember when cohn had a meeting with the ceos and said how many of you are going to invest? >> anybody that watched perry mason can tell you, you never ask the witnesses a question if you don't know the answer. >> yes, he clearly did not know the answer. he seemed taken aback when there was no enthusiasm in the audience, an audience of ceos, to grow and to create jobs with better tax conditions, with a tax break.
and in fact it looked like what do you think they would do with the money? are they just going to pay off debt, what do you think they're going to do with it if they get the tax cut. >> they're going to use it to buy back shares. why are they buying back shares? it's the way to avoid paying taxes. if you pay dividends, people have to pay taxes. if you buy back the shares, they get to pay the taxes on the capital gains and it's only on the increase. so it's all a tax avoidance mechanism, let's be clear about that. for the ceos it's really advantageous because they often get their incentive pay based on the share price. >> you even have aei saying don't give it all at once, spread it out over ten years because you're going to create these false incentives that are going to distort investment and distort what happens in the economy in '18 and '19. >> and on the flip side of that for the average american, for
people making less than $75,000 a year and are looking at this and concerned about whether they're going to be able to deduct their mortgage payments, they're worried about what does this mean for me, for those of us who are not nobel laureates, what should voters be looking at to say this actually does something positive for me? >> well, in fact for ordinary americans, it doesn't do things that are positive. >> but is there something that they could do that you see that could get through that would be, yeah, this is going to help the middle class american, which is what they have all promised. >> what they should do is just narrowly focus on let's lower the tax rates on those parts of america that have been having a really hard time, those with incomes under $75,000. so rather than raising the taxes on those with under $75,000, lower the taxes on those. you know, just going the
opposite direction. one of the things that i think has not been fully appreciated is how even those who are not borrowed money for the house so they're not directly affected are going to be affected because when you change a provision like that, which is really big. >> the mortgage interest rate. >> the mortgage interest rate, property values are going to adjust. so you own your home and you haven't borrowed money, but the value of your house will go down. so this goes to the real point that representative king made. when you have a tax bill that affects every sector of our economy, there are all kinds of changes in prices, the result of that is lots of people are going to be worse off. we ought to be doing something to deal with the problems of globalization and how so many people have been hurt by it.
what we're doing is actually raising the taxes on the people who have been hurt by it. >> professor, thank you so much for being with us. willie, i can tell you it's nice, finally, to have another nobel prize winner, it's not just me and you. >> no. there's an ease we have with other laureates around the table. >> few people remember this. willie and i won the nobel prize in '88 right after i won the masters, the year after we cracked the code for cold fusion. i still can't believe we did that with just actually some sawdust and 20 weight ball bearings. >> we also invented stuffed crest pizza for pizza hut. professor, thank you very much. always good to talk to you. thank you. >> he's sorry he came now. >> as most guests are. up next, as donald trump redefines the presidency, three of his predecessors are in the news today. the latest from barack obama, jimmy carter and president bush 41, next on "morning joe."
former president barack obama has returned to the world stage. he arrived in shanghai yesterday and traveled to beijing where he was expected to meet with chinese president xi jinping. it comes just weeks after president trump's trip to asia. the former president is also expected to travel to india to meet with the prime minister and then to paris where he could meet with president macron. according to the a.p., president obama is expected to give several paid speeches and also hold a town hall event with young people. on saturday, george h.w. bush became the longest living former president at the age of 93 and 166 days. bush 41 exceeded gerald ford's lifetime record and is followed by jimmy carter at the age of 93 years and 55 days. president bush tweeted a sweet message saying in my case one of the few good things about becoming the oldest president or anything is seeing my friend, president carter, just recently looking strong and doing so well following a tough diagnosis two years ago.
you can't keep a good man down. that's from president bush 41. >> final thoughts. we've talked an awful lot about the president and where he is right now mentally. what are your final thoughts? >> actually my final thought today has to do with gayle king and norah o'donnell last week, savannah guthrie and hoda kotb this morning. women showing grace under pressure as their worlds blow up. >> they certainly did. >> more than grace even, i would say. they were firm in their affirmation -- >> absolutely. >> -- that this must stop. there is a change that's going on out there and we all need to support the women who have made these extraordinarily difficult decisions to come forward. >> as you said, willie, whoever came forward, came forward against the most powerful person at nbc, certainly on air. >> that should not be forgotten, the courage it took to step up and make these allegations. i am thinking about my "today" show family right down the hall,
right out that door right now. this is a very, very difficult day. it's shaken the entire news industry. particularly that little family over there down the hall. >> mike, final thoughts. >> that generous tweet from former president george h.w. bush, ladies and gentlemen, that's what a president does. >> that is what a president does and we look to two 93-year-old presidents right now, george h.w. bush, but also jimmy carter, who has shown remarkable strength and remarkable grace and a spirit of putting others before him. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> hello again, joe. good morning. i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot to cover today, starting with breaking news. nbc's matt lauer fired. the long-time "today" show anchor let go this morning after a complaint of inappropriate sexual behavior at work. testing the world. north korea launches another ballistic missile, this one